When it comes to digital marketing, the best strategy is to go to the source. And when you consider that 60 to 70 percent of your website’s traffic will come from search engines, targeting this wellspring of potential customers is a no-brainer.
Search engine marketing (SEM) falls into two basic categories, organic and paid. The goal of each of these strategies is the same: a high ranking within the results for keyword searches relevant to your products or services. Organic SEM, commonly known as search engine optimisation (SEO), is all about fine-tuning your website’s content so that it caters to search engine algorithms. Paid SEM, also called pay-per-click (PPC), is where you pay for advertised rankings connected to your optimal keywords.
A sound digital marketing campaign is founded on a strategic combination of SEO and PPC, based on your industry, competition, and marketing budget. What can these invaluable acronyms do for your website? Let’s take a look.
The reality is simple: internet usage is driven by search engines. Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask—we’re dependent on sites like these to find what we’re looking for online. And we’ve gotten complacent. Rarely do we click past the first page of results when searching for online content. If a site doesn’t appear on the first page of a search return these days, it may as well not appear at all. SEO and PPC ensure that your website is a fixture amongst this valuable real estate. The more robust your campaign, the higher your ranking. And the higher your ranking, the more visible your website.
A credible online presence
There’s no better way to establish legitimacy and authority in your industry than with first-page search rankings. Outranking the competition on organic search results is the best way to increase traffic to your website. A solid foothold in organic search results can take a while to establish, though. For startups and smaller business just getting into the SEM game, PPC is a great way to ensure that your business appears at the top of relevant search returns.
Qualified leads from targeted marketing
Among the greatest advantages of digital marketing is efficiency. Traditional marketing strategies are the equivalent of sending your message into the ether and hoping it finds the eyes and ears of potential customers. SEO allows you to target qualified leads—those individuals who are already searching for your unique products or services. PPC enables even more precise targeting, putting you in front of users who aren’t just doing research, but are ready to buy. The more accurate your targeted marketing, the more efficient your marketing spend. And the more efficient your marketing spend, the higher your ROI.
Exposure to mobile users
Desktop PCs are slowly but surely going the way of the dodo. The future of the internet is mobile. Search engines like Google have already realised this, and their algorithms now give preference to websites that are optimised for mobile devices. Beyond the convenience of wireless access, mobile search connects users with local resources like never before. Customers are increasingly searching for nearby solutions to their purchasing needs when on the go. And local search results result in higher sales conversions. SEO connects you to the user who is in your neighbourhood and looking for your products or services. And PPC has been shown to be exceedingly more effective on mobile devices.
Right now, someone out there is in need of what your business offers. If they haven’t already, they’ll soon be typing that need into a search engine. The question is: will your website end up on the front page of their results? If not, you’re missing out on revenue. Multiply this by the millions of users around the world in search of the same thing, and you can see why SEO and PPC are indispensible to your digital marketing strategy.